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Posts Tagged ‘servant’


KJV and NKJV Scripture

– But made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.  And, in fashion as a man, he (Jesus) humbled himself and became obedient unto death – even the death of the Cross. – Philippians 2:7-8

– Serving our own interest to the neglect of Jesus is a very great sin.  It is common among Christians and ministers.  Many prefer their own credit, ease, and safety – before truth, holiness, and duty.  The things of their own pleasure and reputation before the things of Christ and giving honor to God. – Matthew Henry

After Jesus cleansed a certain leper, the leper was instructed to say nothing about it to any man – but only to show himself to a priest in a city where they both resided.  The leper did not listen.  Instead, he began to publish the event much, and blazed abroad about the miracle … to the point where Christ could not enter into this city openly (Mark 1:40-45).  There would just be too much attention centered on Jesus.

During the Feast of the Tabernacles, some of Christ’s brethren questioned his obvious desire to shun the public spotlight and remain unspotted as much as possible (James 1:27).  They said, “Go into Judea, so your disciples may also see the works you do.  For there is no man who does anything in secret, and he himself seeks to be known openly.  If you do these things, show yourself to the world (John 7:3-4).”

These words were all born out of unbelief (John 7:5). Jesus was not acting or talking like a king of earthly reputation would – much less an eternal king.  Christ did not show any cravings for notoriety, nor showed any desire for some sort of status in society.  Jesus simply went about his Father’s business quietly (Luke 2:49), humbly obeying Him all the way to the Cross. Dying there so we would learn to live the same way.

All reputations, good, bad, or in between are of this world.  They show God continued conformance to it, and not being transformed by truth (Romans 12:1-2). Positive reputations can bring a certain amount of prestige and praise, while negative ones can bring a lot of problems and pain.  People who have the latter can squander precious time attempting to repair and restore broken images by external methods or means.

Whatever reputations do or don’t do, they are all in direct opposition to God’s Word.  No matter how they are created or destroyed, they are not in alignment or agreement with His will.  Climbing up the corporate ladder to fame and making a name, or the Christian rungs to do the same, is not why God put us here on earth.  It is to stay humbly obedient to His way until death, so we might be saved (e.g. Hebrews 9:15).

Sadly, and with eternal consequences if not corrected, the modern church has been creating a idolatrous culture of celebrity Christian singers, writers, and speakers for decades.  Some of these people are of great repute and have attained cult-like followings. But, they are grievous wolves drawing disciples away for themselves.  Speaking perverse things for profit, and to preserve their reputation (Acts 20:29-30).

This all may seem new, but it’s not (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10).  Moses dealt with 250 princes in his assembly who rose up against him and Aaron.  Men of renown, with reputations, and all famous in the congregation (Numbers 16:2).  Paul spoke of those who seemed to be somebody, but it made no difference to him.  They didn’t add anything to his teachings as God respects no man’s person (Romans 2:11, Galatians 2:6).

God has several thoughts regarding all of this.  Read what the prophet Daniel writes about it: “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing.  And, He does according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth.  None can stay His hand and say to Him, ‘What are You doing (Daniel 4:35)?'”  Still, there is someone who wants us to think differently when it comes to reputations.

The deceiver of this world (Revelation 12:9) and its prince (John 14:30), Satan, does a very good job in convincing even the most steadfast Christians they must maintain a certain image in life to present to others; a religious reputation to uphold.  This is a device the devil uses to trick believers into thinking they’re standing firm in faith.  But, it’s only upon their reputation, and not the foundation of Jesus – if at all.

This is how Christians fall from repentance and grace (Hebrews 6:4-6, Hebrews 12:15) – and can end up finding no space in heaven.  It is how they give place to Satan and fall into his same condemnation, as good reputations tend to puff people up in pride (Ephesians 4:27, 1 Timothy 3:6).  Having one pushes God to the sidelines, unless He seems to be helping them keep their high esteem and good standing before others.

Instead of having the same before Him.  What keeps us in our Father’s esteem, good standing, and favor, is repenting of things like desires to have a reputation – along with the haughty airs having one can bring. Yes, it is true we are created in His image, but this does not mean we are born with His attributes.  To obtain them, we’re commanded to produce spiritual fruits not usually esteemed among men (Luke 16:15).

The humble example of Christ is set before us in the Bible.  Learning Jesus is not a recommendation from God to contemplate (Ephesians 4:20-32).  It is not something to mull over, but a commandment to obey. Desires for the fleeting praise and prestige worldly admiration can bring, along with the advantage of reputations, are dangerous ways to defy God, and to face consequences for doing so (2 Thessalonians 1:8).

 

 

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– He who heeds the Word wisely shall find good – and whoever trusts in the Lord; happy is he. – Proverbs 16:20

– God may allow His servant to succeed when He has disciplined him to a point where he does not need success to be happy.  The man elated by success but cast down by failure is still a carnal man.  At best his fruit will have a worm in it. – A.W. Tozer

The world will give us 1,000-plus suggestions and solutions throughout our lives on how to become – and stay happy.  Some may seem to “work” for us – for various amounts of time.  A successful and strong marriage – or lots of bucks in our bank account – can deceive us into making that decision we are finally “happy” once and for all.  Until our worst fears are realized one day – when it goes away (Job 3:25).

Until perhaps – a person who swore up and down they would love you forever and never leave – gets up the very next morning and walks away without warning.  Or, maybe a major medical event drains life savings; money you may have set aside to enjoy retirement.  A once happy time has led to hardships, hurt, and heartache, and people start hunting for happiness all over again.  It can all be exhausting. 

This world’s ways to attain and maintain happiness are all quite cosmetic and conditional – contingent upon its motions and our emotions.  Trying to stay happy like this often puts us on a daily roller-coaster ride of highs and lows.  Somewhere on the straight and flat parts when we can breathe, we attempt to figure out if we are truly happy inside our hearts, or if saying such is just hollow words from our lips.

Empty souls lead to envy and covetousness (Titus 3:3, Luke 12:15).  We might see what someone else has in the way of possessions – or look at ways they are living – and it appears to be making them happy – so we try to follow suit.  Without us ever really knowing if they’re masking happiness with fake smiles and feigned words – but who are also still searching for lasting satisfaction inside (Proverbs 27:20).

God – and the ways of His Word to attain happiness are to provide us a continual and steady sense of contentment and happiness.  It’s internal, so this feeling should always stay the same, regardless of any external situation (Philippians 4:11).  All of God’s promises are yeses (2 Corinthians 1:20).  We truly can attain such happiness without it ever wavering; but it has to be achieved His way (Proverbs 1:7).

Happiness starts with heavenly discipline – and He assures all born again Christians (John 3:5) this will happen because of His love.  It will not seem joyous – and we won’t feel happy while it’s happening to us (Hebrews 12:6-11).  However, God’s intent is for us to yield all the peaceable fruits required to be brought forth in keeping with His commandment to repent (Matthew 3:8, Galatians 5:22-23, Acts 17:30).

Therefore, “choosing” or “deciding” to be happy as a Christian is not the way it works – for such will lead to the same spiritual highs and lows this world’s way to happiness creates.  It puts us on a roller coaster ride full of sudden dips and rises in our faith.  Therefore, our road to lasting happiness begins with heavenly discipline – and we’re to be happy when God corrects us.  We’re not to despise His chastening (Job 5:17).

All of this daily discipline is designed to teach the patience God requires of us to endure until the end – and made partakers of Jesus Christ (James 5:11, Hebrews 3:14, Hebrews 10:36).  This means our salvation.  We may have to endure many temptations and trials, depending on how much of our old worldly man God has to correct (2 Corinthians 5:17).  We are to count it all joy; regardless (James 1:2-4).

So, when we suffer for righteousness’ sake, we will be happy (1 Peter 3:14).  So, when we are reproached for the name of Christ, we’ll be happy (1 Peter 4:14). So, we learn to be happy having faith to ourselves (Romans 14:22).  So we do not turn Christianity into a competition – and a battle for happiness between believers – for such leads to every evil work before God (2 Corinthians 10:12, James 3:14-16).

If we are not continually happy as Christians, we have nowhere near the trust in God we may claim – nor are we really following in Christ’s steps (lead verse, Luke 6:46, 1 Peter 2:21).  Our happiness is still contingent on a constantly changing world.  It all usually hinges on whether life is basically going the way we want it to – or not at any given time – not upon a God who never changes (Malachi 3:6).

A.W Tozer, who wrote the lead quote above, once said that if we want to be happy as Christians, we have to be made holy from above – for this is God’s desire for us the second He draws us to the Cross (John 6:44, 1 Peter 1:16).  From this point on, we should be simply seeking to know – and to do His will each day (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 5:17) – and leaving it to Jesus the matter of how happy we are.

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:5

– Jesus was humble when he walked the earth.  He had all power, but used all meekness. – Monica Johnson

Our word “meek” has several meanings which must please our Father in heaven greatly.  Why?  Because they all represent and signify many spiritual fruits and personality traits He requires to be produced – in keeping with His commandment for Christians to zealously repent daily (Matthew 3:8, Acts 17:30, 2 Corinthians 4:16, Revelation 3:19).  Otherwise, we will perish (Luke 13:3,5).

A meek person is described as one who is quiet, humble, modest, submissive, gentle, compliant, easily imposed upon, and self-effacing (shunning attention).  One who does not strive with others or God.  One apt to teach more than they preach.  In meekness, instructing those who oppose themselves, if God by chance will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth (2 Timothy 2:24-25).  

The meekest person to ever walk this earth was also the mightiest – Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18).  So we might learn the types of people God seeks to teach His Word and ways to – meek ones (Psalm 25:9).  It isn’t usually individuals with lots of material goods, money, or degrees.  Such things tend to make many people high-minded, and not humble (Romans 11:20, 1 Timothy 6:17 2 Timothy 3:4).

The highest priest of our profession as Christians, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 3:1) … made himself the lowest of lows when he walked this earth.  Born in a humble manger (Luke 2:16); not a mighty mansion. Christ did nothing through vainglory.  Esteeming everyone better than himself, and looking upon the things of others – instead of his own.  Making himself of no reputation (Philippians 2:3-7).

Taking upon him the form of a servant – being made in the likeness of men.  And being found in fashion as a man – humbled himself and became obedient unto death – even the death of the Cross.  So must we (Philippians 2:7-8).  As Matthew Henry once wrote, “Meek people enjoy an almost perpetual Sabbath.” They serve humbly and unprofitably (Luke 17:7-10), never seeking personal glory or praise.

Most weeks on Facebook, there are many postings from people talking about staying strong, tough, and hanging on a little longer.  God did not hang His only Son on the Cross for us to do that – to be tougher than nails.  Jesus was – we are not.  Christ told the disciples, “Take my yoke and learn of me.  For I am meek and lowly in heart … and you shall find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:28-29).”

We cannot do that very well if we are still trying to maintain any sense of control, or casting some cares on Him, but not all (1 Peter 5:7), or trying to steer God’s yoke in the direction we desire.  Wrestling with God at any time is a sign of resistance to His ways. Rest remains far away.  Having His peace surpassing all understanding, is hard to attain if we’re leaning on ours (Proverbs 3:5, Philippians 4:7).

Those traits of trying to handle everything that comes our way are not a sign of being meek and weak.  They signal disobedience to God, as well as clear distrust in Him – that His grace is not sufficient enough for us.  They arise out of a “me – and my might and power” mindset – not a “meek and weak” one.  Only turning cares over to Him after we’ve exhausted taking care of them the ways we prefer.

It’s glorying in a sense of perceived invincibility and firmness, not our infirmities and frail flesh (Psalm 39:4) – so the power of Christ can rest on us (2 Corinthians 12:9).  If the strength of Jesus is not adequate for us at all times during our life – to meet all that comes our way with meekness – we still have pride issues.  Pride presents an image to God we can do it all –  meekness presents an image we can’t.

Izaak Walton once said, “God has two dwellings.  One is in heaven – and the other in a meek and thankful heart.”  Haughty and high-minded hearts and minds are not very meek.  They are hard to humble; often grumbling and disputing with God (Philippians 2:14). Whenever God is viewed as being wrong and we’re right, we’re not meek.  Ears soon dull of hearing (Hebrews 5:11), and hearts harden (Hebrews 3:8).

However, the Lord shall lift up the meek (Psalm 147:6).  They shall delight in the abundance of peace (Psalm 37:11).  Christians are then to walk worth of the vocation of which they are called – with all lowliness and meekness, longsuffering, forbearing one another in love (Ephesians 4:1-2).  Forgiving one another, just as Christ has done the same for us (Colossians 3:12-13).

There are no laws in life being meek and lowly like Christ was (Galatians 5:23).  We are to follow after things like faith, love, patience and meekness (1 Timothy 6:11).  It increases our joy in the Lord – so that it may be full at all times (Isaiah 29:19, 1 John 1:4).  We are then to show our meekness to all (Titus 3:2) – a virtue we add to our faith on the spiritual staircase to heaven (2 Peter 1:5).

So we can always approach others in the spirit of love and meekness (1 Corinthians 4:21).  So we who are spiritual can then restore those overtaken in a fault in the spirit of meekness – lest we be tempted as well (Galatians 6:1).  So when all is said and done, the meek shall inherit the earth (lead verse, Psalm 37:11), and God will beautify such people with salvation (lead verse, Psalm 149:4).

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